USY News

4 Questions with Ari Tecktiel

One of the most incredible aspects of a USY program (and there are a lot!) are the leadership opportunities it provides our youth—opportunities that will share their life now and in the future, and the lives of so many others. In our USY Far West program, 2017-2018 Regional President Ari Tecktiel knows this well.

Ari is a high school senior at The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has held multiple chapter and regional positions during his time with USCJ’s (The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism) youth movement. Additionally, he plays three varsity sports for his school, and also plays a few instruments. He is extremely invested in Judaism, as well as USY Far West.

We recently caught up with Ari to ask him four questions:

1. Why should teens care about USCJ’s youth movement?
“Teens should care about USCJ’s youth movement because it is such an amazing organization. The friendships that I have developed during my years with USCJ’s youth movement will stay with me for the rest of my life. It has taught me so much about Judaism, community and being a good person. Teens should care about this incredible organization, because it is a place where everyone can be themselves and have the best experiences of their lives.”

2. What have you gained personally from your leadership role with USY Far West?
“My leadership role with USY Far West has given me so many valuable skills that I will use throughout my life. The role has taught me so much about responsibility and accountability. It has taught me how to work with others, and how to sort out problems that arise when working with others. The most important thing that my leadership role has taught me is to care about something bigger than yourself and to put the needs of your community before your own needs.”

3. What exciting new programs and events does USY Far West have in the works?
“There are so many new exciting things happening in USY Far West. Our fall encampment, which is an unforgettable weekend spent at Camp Ramah in Ojai, is November 10-12. Everyone in Far West is counting down the days until this event. We also just implemented a new program called Mentorah. Mentorah pairs USYers together to teach and learn to lead prayers and read Torah. This will allow anybody to be able to participate, no matter how skilled they are. Coming up during winter break is USCJ’s International Convention in Chicago. Far West is bringing 30 delegates to represent our region. We are so excited for this amazing event!”

4. UCSJ and USY Far West recently rebranded with the new tagline, “Seek meaning together.” What do these words mean to you? How do you think young Jews can embody this message?
I think that the new USCJ tagline, ‘Seek meaning together,’ could not be more fitting for this organization. Every teen who comes into USCJ’s youth movement discovers that we are all seeking meaning together. We have such thought-provoking discussions about life, modern Judaism, civil rights and so much more. We all bring different opinions, and we feel comfortable sharing them because we know we will not be judged. USCJ’s youth movement has enabled me to seek meaning in everything and has enabled me to be able to do it among my closest friend.”

Far West USY is seeking a full-time Assistant Director! Do you know someone who would be great for our team and our teens? The job description can be found here

USCJ’s Gap Year Program in Israel Now Accepting Applications For Next Year

Early applications are being accepted until December 1, 2017.

Nativ, USCJ’s gap year program in Israel, is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year. Participants will spend a year in Jerusalem, where they will experience Israeli Jewish life, expend their horizons and develop leadership skills through educational and volunteer programs, while exploring the bountiful land of Israel.

For more information about the program and application process, please visit

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